Yellowstone Wolf in Colorado

Collared female wanders over 1,000 miles from national park
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Collared female wanders over 1,000 miles from national park

Wyoming just isn't big enough for a wanderin' wolf: In search of a new Rocky Mountain high, a lone female wolf from one of Yellowstone's packs traveled over 1,000 miles from her home range in search of new territory. The last known location of the 18-month-old female known as 318F is somewhere in the mountains of Eagle County, Colorado.

“Young wolves often cover remarkable distances looking for a mate and a new territory,” (Colorado) Division of Wildlife Director Tom Remington said. “If this wolf doesn’t find a pack, she’ll likely keep moving. We’ve seen at least one Yellowstone wolf in Colorado before, but we have no reason to believe that wolves have established a pack in the state yet.”

After 318F left Yellowstone, she cruised first through the Bridger-Teton National Forest, then wandered through southwest Wyoming, and even tripped through Utah and Idaho before coming to Colorado two weeks ago. Park officials can track this wolf because she wears a collar outfitted with a GPS tracking device.

The most recent wolf in Colorado was killed on I-70 near Idaho Springs back in 2004. But if 318F can steer clear of trouble, she might get to stay: Since 2004, Colorado has adopted a policy of allowing wolves to naturally resettle, provided they don't clash with humans or livestock.

Welcome to Colorado, 318F. The living is pretty good around here, but I'd recommend staying away from I-70—that highway sucks for wolvesand people.

—Ted Alvarez

Yellowstone wolf drifts into Colorado (Grand Junction Sentinel)

Image Credit: Peupleloup